Home > cock-ups, Daily Mail, Headline headaches > It’s all Latin to me

It’s all Latin to me

Daily Mail webpage

"Amo, alas, amat", as Aristotle was always saying

Everyone loves a story about powers-on-high making some simple but embarrassing bureaucratic cock-up with spelling: getting a place name wrong, painting a road marking SOTP, that sort of thing. Inevitably, such stories begin: “Red-faced officials apologised…”

The pleasure is doubled if the power-on-high is a university (especially an Oxbridge one) and the cock-up is something arcane such as the declension of a noun in a dead language such as Greek or Latin because, you know, they’re suppose to know about such things.

The trouble with such stories is that they so easily turn into a “pot-kettle-black” scenario if the paper, broadcaster or website concerned is equally sloppy in its attention to detail.

Especially if a sub or web editor doesn’t know the difference between Latin and Greek…

Word of advice: if ever you write or edit such a story, check, check and check again, then check once more for good measure. And do not rely on spellcheck.

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